The new SOC HQ on the coast east of Edinburgh will be dubbed Waterston House. The name commemorates George Waterston, known as 'the keenest birdwatcher in Scotland', who founded the Scottish Ornithologist's Club (SOC) in 1946.
Appropriately, the site at Aberlady overlooks some of the best bird watching territory in the UK, with more than 250 species recorded.
SOC development manager Bill Gardner says that once a 'dead triangle' of land on the local golf course had been identified, the choice lay between a classic visitor centre and a resource centre aimed mainly at the SOC's 2,000 members. The latter option was chosen, and the initial brief included a large library, a wildlife garden with a range of habitats, and flexible, expandable space for exhibitions and the like.
It was Gardner's responsibility to assemble the sponsorship needed to fund the £750,000 project. Apart from the structural Douglas Fir post and beam frame, the building will feature Scottish oak flooring and will be clad largely in untreated larch.
Clay tiles donated by Lafarge Roofing will complete the building envelope, and the new centre is due to open in March next year.